More than 1,000 locomotives were on show at the Echtdampf Hallentreffen, the indoor steam event in Karlsruhe in January 2012. Of those 90 coal fired and 80 electric ran on the 5,000 metre specially-constructed track during the weekend. They came from all over Europe and even Japan to take part, and burned some 3 tonnes of coal between them.

Around 20,000 visitors were attracted to the event. For the visitor from the UK it is striking how many children visit this show and others in Germany. These children will remember the hiss of steam and the smell of steam oil and coal. Many will grow up to be engineers.

The dual gauge railway track filled one large hall with traction engines also trundling around the pedestrian walkways. A second hall contained the rest of the exhibits and some 80 trade stands.

A great characteristic of German shows is that most of the exhibits can be seen working. The Stirling engines, steam engines, steam boats, flame gulpers and railways in all gauges, etc, etc took up some 450 linear metres of exhibition space. Boats were also demonstrated in a large pool.

“For us, this event at the beginning of the year is enormously important," reported Nico Miny, owner of a large machinery company in Luxembourg. "Karlsruhe is simply the best location. The halls are modern and meet all the requirements that we need as commercial exhibitors."

"We are very surprised how many foreign visitors we welcomed at our stand,"said Juergen Musche, owner of the Westerwald steam railway enthusiasts.

The next modelling event being organized by Messe Sinsheim will be in Cologne, November 22 -25. The famous Sinsheim track will be in operation there.

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